REPORT No. 36/13
JOSÉ DELFÍN ACOSTA MARTÍNEZ AND FAMILY
July 11, 2013
On June 6, 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Commission” or “the IACHR”) received a petition lodged by the Comisión de Familiares de Víctimas
Indefensas de la Violencia Social [Committee of Relatives of Defenseless Victims of Social Violence]
(COFAVI),1 Centro de Investigaciones Sociales y Asesorías Legales Populares [Social Research Center and
People’s Legal Advisory Services] (CISALP), and Paola Gabriela Canova (hereinafter the “petitioners”), in
which they argue that the Republic of Argentina (“Argentina” or the “State”) is responsible for the injuries
allegedly inflicted on Mr. José Delfín Acosta Martínez (the “presumed victim”) purportedly by police
agents while he was in their custody, which resulted in his death, and for the absence of an effective
investigation leading to the prosecution and punishment of the persons responsible for the events. The
petitioners claim that the State is responsible for violating the rights set forth in Articles 4 (right to life), 5
(right to humane treatment), 7 (right to personal liberty), 8 (right to a fair trial), 24 (equal protection), and
25 (judicial protection) in conjunction with the obligation to respect and guarantee the rights embodied
in Article 1.1. of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter the "American Convention").
With regard to the fulfillment of the admissibility requirements, the petitioners claimed
that they have exhausted domestic remedies and that they lodged the petition pursuant to Article 46 of
the American Convention. For its part, the State argued that the petition is inadmissible because it does
not state facts that would constitute a violation of a right guaranteed under the American Convention and
that the “fourth-instance” formula is applicable.
After reviewing the positions of the parties and in keeping with the requirements
established in Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention, the Commission decides to declare the case
admissible for the purpose of examining the alleged violation of the rights of the presumed victim and his
relatives embodied in Articles 4, 5, 7, 8, 24, and 25, in conjunction with Article 1.1 and 2 of that instrument.
In addition, the Commission decides to inform the parties of this decision, to publish it, and to include it
in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the OAS.
PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION
The petition was received by the IACHR on June 6, 2002, and recorded as No. P-403-02.
The IACHR transmitted it to the State on April 8, 2004, giving the State two months to submit a reply. The
State asked the IACHR for a one-month extension for its reply, which was granted on June 8, 2004. The
Commission received the State’s reply on April 29, 2005, which was duly transmitted the petitioners.
1 On May 9, 2006, Mr. Ángel Acosta Martínez, brother of the presumed victim, reported that COFAVI would no longer
be sponsoring the petition and that the attorney Paola Gabriela Canova should be included as a petitioner.